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Access and Materials policies

Who Can Borrow

Members of the Emerson College community with a valid Emerson ID card have full borrowing privileges at the Emerson College Library.  Emerson College Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs students and alumni borrowers may borrow Emerson College library books, but they cannot borrow books from other libraries through our Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan services, nor can they check out laptops for use within the Library.

Individuals with full borrowing privileges at other Fenway Library Online libraries may also borrow materials from the Emerson College Library, either in person or through Document Delivery. They may not check out laptops or study room keys for use within the Library.

Please let us know about any changes in your local address, email address, or telephone number.

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What is the Loan Period?

Loan Periods
Patron Type Borrowing Period* Grace Period
Students 28 Days 7 Days
Full-time Faculty up to 1 year** none
Part-time Faculty Term Loan 7 Days
Staff Term Loan 7 Days
Alumni 28 Days 7 Days
Consortium Borrower 28 Days 7 Days

There is a $1/hour fine for overdue Reserve materials. Fines/fees for materials from other libraries (ILL) are determined by the owning institution. After 60 days, a $50 replacement fee is charged.

* CDs and other audio materials follow the above rules for Library books for users with current valid Emerson ID cards. The borrowing period for circulating DVDs is 7 days, which applies to all patron types. There is no grace period for overdue reserve items, laptops, or circulating DVDs. Circulation policies for Teaching Collection DVDs, VHS tapes, and films are available at the Media Collection Circulation Policy.

**Faculty one-year loans apply only to circulating books from the Emerson College Library and are subject to the same circulation regulations as any other transaction including recalls and replacement costs. One-year loans may not be renewed.

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Proxy Borrowing Privileges Application

Proxy privileges are available to Emerson College faculty and to members of the College community who are unable to use Library facilities due to a disability. The proxy service may be used to designate a person to borrow Library materials on your behalf at the Emerson College Library. Consortium libraries will not honor this service.

In order to process the request, both the borrower and his/her proxy are required to have an Emerson College identification card. Both parties also need to have Library borrowing records clear of outstanding fines and overdue books.

Proxy status expires at the end of each semester. A new form must be filled out or the circulation manager must be contacted to extend proxy privileges.

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Renewals may be done online using My Account, in person, or by telephone (617 824-8668) before the due date. Overdue books can only be renewed in person at the Service Desk. Please have your Emerson ID number ready if you renew by telephone. Most materials may be renewed up to three times unless another patron has requested the item.

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Non-circulating Materials

The following materials may only be used while inside the Library. Also, see the section on Reserve materials below.

  •   Archival materials
  •   Periodicals
  •   Reference books

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Overdue Books and Fines

Patrons are responsible for returning Library materials on time and in good condition. Charges may be assessed for materials not returned or returned damaged or soiled. Please use My Account to check due dates and overdue status of your materials.

Overdue fines are typically not charged with the exception of items from our Reserves Collection or items that have been recalled. Borrowing privileges will be suspended for outstanding charges of $10 or more. Students may have their registration, grades, and/or transcripts held until the charges are resolved. It is advisable to keep receipts for all payments. Once a hold is placed on a student's registration, borrowing privileges will not be reinstated until the entire amount owed is paid.

Please speak with a circulation supervisor if you feel a fine has been unjustly assessed.

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Lost Books and Replacement Charges

Patrons who have material sixty (60) days past the due date will be billed $50 for replacement of that material. This charge will be cleared if the book is returned in usable condition, provided the item has not already been replaced.

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Holds and Recalls

If an item you need is in circulation, you may place a hold on the item using My Account. You will be notified once the book has been returned and will have up to 10 days to pick up the book.

The Library will recall materials only to place on Reserve. A computer-generated notice showing a new, earlier due date will be sent to the patrons who have checked out the materials. It is very important that recalled materials are returned by the new due date. The Library will suspend a patron's borrowing privileges if recalled materials become past due. Overdue fines for recalled materials are $1 per item for every day past the new due date.

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Book Searches

Please ask at the Service Desk or fill out a Missing Search Request if you cannot locate Library materials with a status of "Available" on our online catalog. Staff will then search for the book repeatedly on your behalf, a process that may take up to six weeks. We will notify you about the results of our search. If we find a missing book, we will hold it for you at the Service Desk for 10 days.

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Reserve materials have a two-hour loan period and cannot leave the Library. There is a $1 per hour fine for overdue Reserve materials. This is to ensure that students have adequate access to course readings. You can search for reserves by using the Course Reserves tab in the Library Catalog. You can search by course number or professor's name. All Emerson College reserves are prefixed by ECL to make them easier to find. Please ask at the Service Desk if you need assistance.

To check out a reserve book, go to the Reserve Desk, next to the Service Desk, and give the call number of the item you need.

Faculty may place library books, photocopies of articles, personal copies of books, or other materials on reserve. Please review the following documents: How to Place Materials on Reserve and Reserve Copyright Guidelines. Faculty may print this Reserve Formand submit it to the Service Desk. The Library can make special purchases for reserves. Photocopied materials must meet the requirements of U.S. copyright law.

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Lost and Found

Personal items found in the Library will be held at the Service Desk for 24 hours. Unclaimed items will be sent to Emerson Police at 80 Boylston Street, 617-824-8555.